BEDFORD, CAMBRIA, SOMERSET— The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies is excited to welcome a new group of interns for the fourth consecutive year of the Youth Philanthropy Internship program. Led by senior interns Kate McGrath and David Saylor (returning from last year’s internship), this new group of eight aspiring young leaders was selected from the graduating classes of local high schools in Bedford, Cambria, and Somerset counties. Thanks to generous grant funding from The Heinz Endowments in Pittsburgh, the interns will complete an eight-week program in which they will learn about philanthropy, community needs, and effective marketing techniques. They ultimately will make available up to $50,000 for projects that are yet to be determined. The interns will announce requests for proposals on July 15, based on their own observations and assessments of community needs.
Emily Sayler, daughter of April and Tim Kretchman and John Sayler, is excited to be interning with the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies Youth Philanthropy Program this summer. She graduated from Meyersdale Area High School in 2016 and will study at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania to pursue a career in International Business. In high school, she participated in soccer, musical, student council, National Honor Society, FFA, Future Business Leaders of America, dance, chorus, track, and was a drum major in her marching band. In her free time, Emily enjoys camping and other outdoor activities.
Emily Brazill, a 2016 graduate of Westmont Hilltop High School, is ecstatic that this internship will provide her with an opportunity to bring life back to Johnstown and discover more parts of the community in which she lives. In high school Emily was a member of National Honor Society, Key Club, S.A.D.D., and World Language Club. Emily was able to put her leadership skills to work as President of the Student Council and Co-President of the Interact Club. Outside of school, Emily danced for 14 years, played golf for three years, and was an AAABA ambassador. In her free time, she also enjoys listening to pop music, drawing, and spending time with her dog, Ruby. Emily will be attending St. Francis University in the fall to pursue a major in physical therapy.
Greater Johnstown High School recent graduate Olivia Oravec is excited to be a part of the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies this summer. In the fall, she will be attending the Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Eberly College of Business Honors Program to major in Business Management. In high school Olivia was a part of National Honor Society, Key Club, Interact Club, and musical. She was also President of National Spanish Honor Society and Treasurer of musical. She enjoys singing at her church, and was also a delegate for Kintsugi Makerspace. Olivia wants to take the skills she was taught in high school through community service clubs and move them to the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies. She wants to find new and creative ways to help Johnstown and the surrounding areas grow as a whole. After Olivia graduates from IUP, she wants to explore the country and eventually come back to Johnstown for retirement.
J.T. Durica, son of John and Tracy Durica, graduated from Bishop McCort Catholic High School in 2016. As a high school student, J.T. competed as a soccer and track and field athlete. He also was a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, and Key Club. J.T. spends his free time fishing, camping, scuba diving, and playing volleyball. This fall he will be attending Coastal Carolina University to study marine science and participate in the Track and Field program. J.T. wishes to pursue a career in the field of Marine Science, specifically aquaculture or fish ecology. As a philanthropy intern J.T. plans to strengthen his interpersonal skills, make lifelong connections, and find ways to give back to his community.
Marshal Engleka is a graduate from Berlin High School, where he was involved with National Honor Society, Student Council, basketball, and soccer. Marshal is a member of St. John the Baptist in New Baltimore. In his free time he likes to play golf. In the fall, Marshal plans to go to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown to study finance. He hopes he can give back to the community in some way and make a difference.
Max Myers is a recent graduate of Somerset High School. He is the son of Chris and Connie Myers of Somerset. While in high school, Max was a member of the golf and track and field teams, and also participated in many other extracurricular activities including, Future Business Leaders of America, Student Congress, National Honor Society, Youth and Government, Scholastic Quiz, and a tutor for the Boys and Girls Club. He will be attending Penn State University in the fall for Political Science and Economics. Following graduation he plans to attend law school for a forthcoming career in politics. Throughout this internship, he hopes to learn more about the community which he grew up in as well as make new connections for the future.
Megan Paonessa graduated from Conemaugh Valley in 2016. Her parents are Michele and Gregory Paonessa. She is attending Penn State University for Electrical Engineering in the fall. Megan was very involved throughout high school. She played volleyball and participated in many clubs, including Student Council, National Honor Society, Forensics, Technology Students Association, Scholastic Quiz, Key Club, Science Club, and Drama Club. She was also a member of the Marching Band and Chorus. In her free time, Megan enjoys painting and drawing. During this internship, she hopes to gain philanthropic skills, network with others, and help benefit this community. Megan also wishes to start her own nonprofit organization someday.
Nick Yost graduated from Conemaugh Valley High School in 2016. He was actively involved in National Honor Society and Student Council. Nick was also a member of Conemaugh Valley’s CV Cares. In addition to that he was a member of the Marching Band as the manager and as Conemaugh Valley’s mascot. His future plans are to attend either Penn Highlands Community College or Pittsburgh Technical Institute to major in Computer Science. Nick was very interested in the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies because he saw the opportunityto give back to his community as his community gave to him. In his spare time, Nick enjoys being outdoors and hanging out with friends.